Section 752 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (PL 105-220), authorizes discretionary grants to state vocational rehabilitation agencies for programs to provide independent-living services for significantly visually impaired individuals who are 55 years of age or older. These programs are referred to in Title VII-Chapter 2 (VII-2) of the Rehabilitation Act as Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind. Among many older adults, vocational goals may be inappropriate, and significant visual impairments often interfere with normal activities of daily living. Services provided by the VII-2 Programs are targeted to those age 55 or older whose significant visual impairment makes gainful employment extremely difficult to obtain, but for whom independent-living goals are feasible. The targeted outcome of these independent-living goals is feasible. The targeted outcome of these independent-living services is to enhance a consumer’s ability to maintain his or her desired level of personal independence. The outcome for society at large may be the avoidance of costly long-term care options.
The VII-2 Program is administered by the Independent Living Branch of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education.
The core services most commonly provided by VII-2 Programs are related to the following:
- Purchase of adaptive aids, devices, or equipment (e.g., home appliances, low vision aids, and communication aids)
- Training (e.g., orientation and mobility skills; communication skills; daily-living skills; adaptive aids, devices, and equipment; advocacy; and management of secondary disabilities)
- Other individual services (e.g., low vision screening/services, counseling, transportation, readers and guides, restorative services, referral to other agencies, support groups, and community integration)
- Outreach services
- Community awareness
- Community capacity
Annual Project Directors Meeting for State Directors is usually held in early March.
Recycle Your AT: Pamphlet 2005 Annual Review Reports of Each State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency RSA Annual Report Functional Limitations of Vocational Rehabilitation Consumers: Final Report Longitudinal Study of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program: Substudy, article, and final and interim reports